FOR RELEASE: February 16, 2022
New Coalition Launches Promoting Community Broadband, Connecting Ohioans to High-Speed Internet
Broadband Access Ohio is a network of municipalities, townships and other public entities.
COLUMBUS, OH – Today Broadband Access Ohio is officially announcing the formation of an alliance focused on connecting Ohioans to high-speed, affordable internet access.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, 83% of Americans said internet access was essential or important to them. Unfortunately, Ohio is ranked 37th in the nation for connectivity and internet access remains an issue across the entire state. For more than 300,000 households in Ohio representing close to one million Ohioans, a lack of access to high-speed internet is a critical barrier.
Seeing this dire need for access in our state, today, Broadband Access Ohio has officially launched. This group will educate and advocate for community broadband and public-private partnerships that will benefit all of Ohio. Broadband Access Ohio already has over 20 members that include municipalities, townships, associations, educational institutions and other public entities who understand the importance of a connected Ohio for all.
“Broadband Access Ohio believes leaders and citizens should support all methods of broadband expansions from private providers to community networks because internet access in Ohio isn’t a one-size fits all technology,” said Bill Roth, mayor of Fairlawn and Chairman of Broadband Access Ohio, “Our communities deserve the flexibility to choose between a variety of options to provide broadband service to those who work and live in our communities.”
Many community broadband networks were established after private providers were unwilling or failed to build adequate broadband infrastructure in our communities. These networks are open to all citizens as a way to ensure residents and businesses have high-speed and reliable broadband service. Many community networks fill vital roles in providing connectivity to our schools, hospitals, and public safety services.
“High-quality, high-speed, affordable internet access is essential for Ohio’s growing economy, both globally and locally. We need not only county-wide, but statewide broadband access in order to remain competitive in the global economy,” said Steve Hambley, Medina County Commissioner.
Broadband Access Ohio believes community broadband networks and public-private partnerships provide Ohio citizens, communities, and businesses with access to the internet needed to thrive in an ever-connected world. This group knows broadband internet is not a one-size fits all technology. Communities deserve the flexibility to offer internet access programs that meet the needs of their citizens when they realize that service is not available for their constituents.
Broadband Access Ohio members include municipalities, townships, associations and other public entities. This coalition represents public entities and public-private partnerships across the state that are committed to investing in high-speed internet access for all.
The inaugural members of Broadband Access Ohio are:
- ACCESS Council
- Buckeye Hills Regional Council
- City of Athens
- City of Columbus
- City of Dublin
- City of Gahanna
- City of Hilliard
- City of Hudson
- City of Wadsworth
- City of Worthington
- County Commissioners Association of Ohio
- Fairlawn Gig
- Management Council of the Ohio Education Computer Network
- Medina County Board of Commissioners
- Medina County Fiber Network
- Miami Valley Communications Council
- Miami Valley Educational Computer Association
- Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission
- NEOnet – Northeast Ohio Network for Educational Technology
- Next Century Cities
- OME-RESA ITC COG
- Southwest Ohio Computer Association
- Stark-Portage Area Computer Consortium
- Summit County
To learn more about Broadband Access Ohio visit www.broadbandaccessohio.com
- Twitter: @BroadbandAccOH
- Facebook: @BroadbandAccessOhio